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Range Rover is surprise choice

BMW is the most popular manufacturer in three out of the nine classes of car, analysis of Auto Trader searches has revealed. Both the 3 and 5 Series models gained more than twice as many searches as their nearest rivals.

The survey also uncovered the unexpected. Despite petrol costing £3.50 a gallon, the thirsty Range Rover achieved a 30% increase in searches.

One reason could be potential for conversion to cheaper liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), say Auto Trader researchers. Off-roaders are ideal for fuel conversion as they often have space to mount additional gas tanks.

Meanwhile, Land Rover's Discovery model has seen a sharp drop in demand over the same period.

Most popular cars for Auto Trader UK website searchers were – winner (runners-up):
Minis: Mini (Fiat Cinquecento /Fiat Panda).
Superminis: Ford Fiesta (Renault Clio /Vauxhall Corsa).
Small family: VW Golf (Ford Escort /Peugeot 306).
Large family: BMW 3 Series (Ford Mondeo/ Audi A4.
Executive: BMW 5
Series (Vauxhall Omega/ Mercedes C-class).
Luxury: BMW 7 Series (Mercedes S-class/Jaguar XJ).
4x4: Range Rover (Mitsubishi Shogun/Land Rover Discovery).
MPV: Ford Galaxy (Renault Espace/Toyota Previa).
Sportscar: Toyota MR-2 (Mazda MX-5/Toyota Celica).

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